Saturday, February 28, 2009

Love Story

I'm in love.

Larry and I went to BestBuy this morning on our date (yes, I know - the romance is just overwhelming): he needed to check out prices on computers (don't ask) and I was ogling flattop stoves, because last week I decided that my life is too short to spend cleaning burner drip pans.

On my way back to the computer area, I saw it. My refrigerator. The one I'm destined for. The one that will solve all my cold storage problems.

Now, I'm not some young slip of a housewife, unaware of the ways of the world and easily charmed by anything with a plug and a frostfree interior. Over the years I have become inured to the charms of shiny new appliances, for I have learned the truth: give them a month in my house, and they look as though they are ready for the dump. But look inside this beauty, at its capacious door storage, its unsullied crispers, its pull-out bottom freezer...and I was smitten.

Unfortunately, one glance at its price tag destroyed our budding relationship (and it didn't help that Larry laughed at my infatuation). This love, apparently, was doomed to be unrequited.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stimulating Expenditures

Well, I'm feeling like a million bucks today - I got a fantastic haircut. I mean, it looks fantastic now; Lord knows what it will look like once I wash it and try to style it myself. And what's more, even though it cost me 50 dollars (with tip), I no longer feel guilty about spending that sort of money. You see, Larry and I aren't interested in waiting for that big, bad federal government to bail our country out of this financial mess. Because Americans can do anything, we've embarked on a massive personal spending plan that is guaranteed to pull America up by her bootstraps. Check this out for stimulus spending:

  1. $50 every 2 or 3 months - Because I am never again waiting almost a year between haircuts (even if they do trigger my lice-induced PTSD). Once a woman hits 45, those maintenance costs just start going up, up, up...
  2. $1000 - It turns out that when you teach your teen to drive, his jackrabbit starts and stops inflict a bit of wear and tear on the brakes and rotors. Or that's the story the mechanic gave me, anyway...
  3. $5000 - I was surprised to learn yesterday that furnaces have a life expectancy of only 15 years ("...unless you want to run the risk of carbon monoxide seeping into your home, ma'am...") - guess how old our furnace is?
  4. ?????? - We'll know in another month if our oldest is heading off to college somewhere this fall. The incidental expenses that people are alerting us to (cellphone, laptop, dining plans, extra health insurance, transportation) are making our formerly frugal heads spin. Have I mentioned that when my father sent me off to college (back in what my Anna refers to as the Dark Ages), he presented me with the fine gift of an electric typewriter? He did! (And I was the envy of my dorm, dammit.) No sound system (although I did manage to buy my own Sony Walkman in 1984), no car, no cutesy dorm furniture; I think I had a footlocker my roommates and I used as a coffee table. And we were happy.

Yes, if the economic forecast is looking a little rosier in the month or two to come, you'll know whom to credit with the improvement. You're very welcome. It's the least we can do for our country.

P.S. For you young 'uns scratching your heads over the words "Sony Walkman," it was the Flintstones version of an IPod. It played "cassette tapes," and there were versions (more expensive than mine) that even had "auto-reverse." When it first came out, columnists and other pundits bemoaned the sight of youngsters walking along the street listening to music rather than engaging in conversation with those around them. Because, back then, it wasn't normal to see people walking around with things in their ears. Really.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

As The Food Turns: Fine Dining At Its Best

When I mentioned the other day that it is a shame that Jane Austen never had a blog, I didn't know that she was already on Facebook. Delightful reading for any Pride and Prejudice fan...


And now, for our regularly scheduled feature:

We have a modest (for me) assortment of expired leftovers for your viewing pleasure this evening. Let's start at the top, shall we? Our chef has prepared for you cold, leftover rice, served atop roasted carrots with odd bits of chicken interspersed among them. These are daringly presented with an accompaniment of week-old sloppy joe filling paired delightfully with both more rice (drizzled with the remnants of stir-fry sauce) and more carrots (poached, this time, and dressed with cold bow-tie pasta).

Make sure to come back next week when we are planning to feature such Lenten delicacies as the one soggy fish stick no one got around to eating and the penitential lentil stew that encourages my children to go hungry.

[And, for you newbies who are wondering what the heck is going on, check here.]

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Potty Lines

Sorry! No real post tonight - too busy listening to the President's speech....

But I think I can finally say (um, I guess I mean say again - looks like this announcement was a tad premature last November) that we are coming to the end of the diaper years here!

[and you thought I was going to say something political, didn't you?]

It's been a long slog through mountains of poop and pee (now there's a pretty picture) over the past 17 years, with many a false light at the end of the potty-training tunnel; but today our youngest - of her own volition - went into the bathroom, sat on the potty, and pooped. Just like that. Of course, we were all treated to a detailed play-by-play:

"I pooped!"

"Just half of it, though..."

"Okay, I pooped the rest!"

I'm thinking I should get her a cellphone and a Twitter account - I wonder how many followers she'd attract with tidbits like that?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Something's Bugging Me...

To the person from California who found my blog last night after Googling "How long will my teen daughter hate me?" - I hope I didn't scare you. Take comfort in knowing you have a sister in suffering here.


I will admit right here, I'm a fanatic on the subject of head lice. I can recite all sorts of facts about life cycles, methods of killing, avenues of contamination. My family has been so traumatized by what we refer to as The Year of the Head Lice that I am not even able to be funny about it. (See? No hyperlinks to previous posts) Yes, it was that bad. (No pictures, either - no way, no how...)

And now? I find this AP article which almost made my head explode (oh, but hey, that would take care of any resident lice, now wouldn't it?).

Apparently these people who want to allow children with "only" nits in their hair to attend school do not understand that you can't always see the hatched bugs. They are that fast and that small. By the time you can see them, they are leaving the host and finding new heads to inhabit.

In addition, having lice is "no big deal"? Really? So says Dr. Barbara Frankowski, a pediatrician who has, ahem, studied the subject. I'm willing to bet that Dr. Frankowski has never experienced an infestation herself. She has never had the pleasure of making her kids lay their heads on the kitchen table for an hour at a time (and don't move, dammit!) so that she could search for lice and their eggs. She has never had to do umpteen loads of laundry - bedding, clothing, coats, hats, you name it - every day for 2 weeks. And I'm sure she has never confiscated armies of stuffed animals from her crying children and stuffed them in a plastic bag for two weeks. All this while trying to keep a household running...

Oh, and let's not forget the constant vacuuming, and the crying, neglected baby, and the heightened awareness of every single time her children's heads touch something (or worse yet, each other). And how about the PTSD, the visual flashbacks of actually spotting things crawling (Lord help me) all over her precious, snuggly children's heads? The inability to go for a haircut without taking Valium first? No big deal, hey?

Folks, if there are nits, there are lice. Guaranteed. Keep your kids home and spare others the work and expense (and trauma - have I mentioned the trauma?) of a lice infestation, okay? Thanks.

Now I'm itchy.


What did I use to read before I spent hours scouring the Web for interesting news articles and fun blogs? Books, maybe? How dull. And don't you think Jane Austen would have made a great blogger? Here she had to waste time penning all those long novels, with nary a meme in sight. Poor girl...

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Simple Folk

Frugal is the new chic...

So says a woman interviewed in this New York Times article touting the new cost-saving fad of pay-as-you-go cellphones. I guess y'all can just call me a trendsetter then. Excuse me while I preen myself on my chic-ness.

This woman goes on to say that in hard times like these [emphasis mine], paying 120 dollars a month for a cellphone is a waste of money.

Well, knock me over with a feather, why don't you?

Who would like to inform this particular financial genius that spending that much money on cellphone service was always a waste of money? And who wants to tell the media that those of us who weren't invited to the overspending party of the last 6 years or so are tired of our lifestyles being touted as the latest fad? Gosh, isn't watching our pennies fun! What do the simple folk do?

Apparently, the New York Times is trying to give the Wall Street Journal a run for its money as far as hard-hitting financial reporting goes. It's a race to the bottom, folks - soon these professional financial journalists will be informing us that watching videos at home is cheaper than going out to the movies.

Oh, wait - they already did that.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hard Times (Redux)

Some of you may remember that I followed the advice of one of my commenters and bought Larry a movie gift card for two for Christmas. Would it shock any of you to learn that we still have not gotten around to using it? Even though the last time we saw a movie together was over 2 years ago? Our lack of movie-going doesn't worry Larry, however. According to him, if we procrastinate long enough, we'll be eligible for the senior discount. More money for popcorn!


Far be it from the august New York Times to kick people when they're down; but this article, full of job ideas for displaced Wall Street execs, comes pretty darn close. Who knew that inside some buttoned-up investment bankers were inner clowns just dying to be let out?

Hard times, folks - what can I say?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Serious...

Guess what? Someone has figured out that there is (and I quote) "...a difference between 'real presence' and the virtual variety." That someone would be a biologist (Dr. Sigman), who is worried about the effects of social networking on human beings. (Have you guessed that the news article to which I am referring was left open on my desktop this morning by my significant other? Methinks Larry believes I am spending a tad too much time talking to my imaginary friends.)

The crux of the argument:

Dr Sigman maintains that social networking sites have played a significant role in making people become more isolated.

Well! Consider the gauntlet thrown. Let us start with the fact that Dr. Sigman is male. I warrant he has never been trapped in the house for 2 months straight with 3 or even 4 kids under the age of 7 suffering from assorted ailments including - but not limited to - colds, stomach flu and chicken pox. In other words, Dr. Sigman does not even know what the word "isolated" means. Not the way we mothers know it.

As far as mommy bloggers (and I wear that label with pride) go, Dr. Sigman has put the fabled cart before the fabled horse. It is the damnable isolation that our jobs can impose upon us that drives us to find companionship (of the platonic variety, of course) on the Internet. Throughout the course of my parenting career, I have frequently endured weeks upon weeks of not getting together with close friends, due to their children's illnesses and schedules conflicting with my children's same. Until I found people to converse with over the Internet, I was at risk of going stark raving mad with isolation. Yellow Wallpaper mad...

What's more, I am in better touch with the people I know in real life because of my blog and Facebook. I've learned more about my grown nieces' lives in the past 3 weeks as their "friend" on Facebook than I've known in the previous 17 years. From reading my blog, my real-life friends know what is going on in my life, even if I can't pick up the phone (mothers learn quickly that trying to converse on the phone with children around is a surefire way for one or the other of our lovely offspring to incur an injury of ER magnitude).

The Internet has made us closer, not more estranged, Dr. Sigman. People are turning to the Internet to communicate because today's busy lifestyles have made it difficult for us to connect frequently otherwise. And to posit, as you do, that social networking sites reduce levels of face-to-face contact seems to be a bit of a logical jump. I have never turned down an opportunity to get together with friends because I wanted to stay home and blog or Facebook. Virtual interaction is for when there is no real interaction available. And those times happen frequently in a SAHM's life.

Now, if he had suggested that blogging and Facebook lead to child neglect, he might have been on to something...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mr. Mom

I worked Monday night. Tuesday I discovered a huge bowl of homemade cookies on the counter. I mentioned to Larry that it looked like he had had a fun baking session while I was out the previous evening.

"Fun!" he snorted. "You wouldn't believe what happened! I had cookies in the oven, the phone rang, and Susie was in the bathroom yelling she had pooped in her pants! All at once!"

Hello? Where has this man been the past 17 years? I don't know about the rest of you moms out there, but what he described was my average day. My average good day, actually...

Larry did not appreciate my pointing this out. "The oven timer was going off, you know," he harrumphed.

Oh. Okay, then.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Librarians' Revenge

Given my library history, I am in the habit of imagining horrible repercussions for my book-returning negligence - hearing a policeman knocking on my door, for instance, or being led away in handcuffs in full view of all my neighbors. Symptoms of an overactive imagination, you say? Well, take a second to peruse this news article, why don't you?

Sad, isn't it? This woman now has a criminal record for a book that costs $13.95. At least it had a somewhat normal title. What if I had been arrested when I couldn't locate Little Baby Boo-Boo or some similarly named preschool tome? Not only would I be a criminal, I'd appear infantile to boot.


Tomorrow I will finally get my hands on my beloved Trefoils. Oh, happy day!


Okay, a word of blogging advice: I wanted to put a cute little picture of some policemen leading someone away in handcuffs on this post; and, in a stroke of dubious genius, I Googled "handcuffs."

Do not do this. Just...don't.

And someone tell me how to explain this to Larry when he checks the search history this evening. He still hasn't gotten over "nude knitters."

Monday, February 16, 2009

Wild And Crazy

Anyone seen this article yet? It's a not-bad piece on the subject of why people have large families and what other people's reactions are to them; but I can't help thinking that the article should have linked to my blog. I'm sure New York Times readers want to be regaled with stories of mice and vomit, don't you?

No? Well, maybe it's easier for journalists these days to throw around high-falutin' theories about families with lots of kids - selfishness, polygamy, fundamentalism - without regard for the facts on the ground, as it were. No wonder print is dead.

[I've said that before, I know; but it's one of my favorite lines from Ghostbusters. So bear with me.]

Let's face it - anyone reading my (numerous) posts about vomit would have to discount the "people with large families are selfish" theory. Selfish people don't willingly put themselves in the position of having to clean up puke for years on end. And Larry's and my unparalleled devotion to one another (ugly chairs notwithstanding) would lay the polygamist stereotype to rest. And religious fundamentalism? Yeah - there are a lot of us Jewish-Catholic fundamentalists around.

So maybe it's simpler than that, why people have large families. Maybe (and I believe, oh august editors at the New York Times, that linking to my humble little blog would have provided ample proof of this theory)...where was I? Oh, yes... maybe we are just a little crazy.

That's it - the insanity defense. I rest my case.

And for a better (i.e., more intelligent) read on the subject, go here.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Orange You Glad...?

For Valentine's Day, Larry gave me this card and...drum roll please....a bunch of bananas. Get it? There's a monkey on the card?

Now, I know a lot of you women out there are thinking, "Hey - why didn't I get bananas? How come I'm sitting here with all this jewelry and chocolate and no bananas?" I'm afraid I don't have an answer for that. I guess I am just one lucky gal.

But wait - it gets better. Larry read the above and sought to correct me:

I didn't get the bananas to match the card. I got the card to match the bananas.
[Confused] You thought the perfect Valentine's present for me was a bunch of bananas?
Well, yeah. I thought of you, and I thought of bananas.
[Puzzled silence]
Remember? The other night, in the ER? The nurse said your blood test showed you low on potassium?
[More puzzled silence]
So, I thought bananas! They have potassium!
[Dumbfounded amazement]
I was going to get you the card with a bat on it, but it wasn't G-rated.

Sometimes, ladies, it's best not to know what the menfolk are thinking.

I've posted this video before, but it begs to be repeated. I'm willing to bet, however, that when Humphrey Bogart is looking at Audrey Hepburn flirtatiously winding up that old Victrola, he isn't thinking about bananas.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

IV Feeding Looks Better All The Time

Trying to lose a few pounds? Having trouble limiting your food intake? Just take a gander at this handy little article, and you should be reclaiming your girlish figure in no time! I'm not sure which parts of it are most helpful to me: is it the thought of rodent hairs in my cinnamon that suppresses my appetite, or the idea of plant lice [picture at right] in my beer? Oh, wait - I don't drink beer. So maybe it's the maggots that are allowed to be in my tomato paste that do the trick. Who knows?

I'm just glad there was nothing about Trefoils in there.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Playing Circus

It's a circus here: death-defying acts, wild animals...come on down to our bigtop and see the fun!

Late Wednesday (past midnight), Larry and I headed to the ER. Worsening pain in my left arm and neck, spreading to my chest, coupled with my chronic hypochondria made for a fun date night (morning?). The pain was determined (after 4 hours) to be not of a cardiac nature (But it felt like it! Really!). And (silver lining!) Larry and I got to spend some quiet time together without any kids interrupting us. Unfortunately, it's hard to have a quality conversation at 3 in the morning; but after 18 years, what's left to say, anyway?

So! Went home at 4:30 AM, slept quickly, and got up to go to a follow-up appointment that my ER doctor thoughtfully scheduled for me at 9. Assuming a long wait, I decided to take my knitting book with me, so that I could finish the hat I'm working on.

Hmmm...let's see...oh, yes, I last saw the book on the floor by my chair in the den...must have slipped under the chair...I'll just pull the chair out and...


You know, it's odd how, even though I've never actually seen an accurate picture of a sleeping bat, I was able to identify the real thing in under 1.4 seconds. I can't give any credit to my advanced cognitive processes for that. The identification (and subsequent reaction) came directly from the primitive, archipallium part of my brain. The part concerned with self-preservation...

By the way, Theo thought it was cool.

This unfortunate discovery took place in the sunniest, cleanest, most pleasant part of my home - an open nook off the living room that has my (formerly beloved) flowered Ektorp armchair, my handy knitting basket, the computer desk, and an attractive gas fireplace. It is my refuge: when the rest of the house is trashed, I retreat there and pretend that my whole life is clean, ordered, and knitting-ready. I blog there, I Facebook there, I read to the little girls there.

And now...I find bats there. I am bereft. There is no place left to go.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

As The Food Turns: Long Overdue Edition

Yeah, I'm not proud of it. Even after Larry wreaked havoc with my leftover collection last week, I still have a full slate (plate?) of gastronomic has-beens to shame myself with today. So let's get this over with, shall we?

  1. Far left, some leftover diced canned tomatoes perched prettily atop a container of leftover oatmeal. A commenter has asked why I would bother to save leftover oatmeal. I don't really have an answer for that. Hope springs eternal, I guess...
  2. Center front, our produce collection - a shriveled lemon I have no memory of buying and a few dried-up baby carrots. Actually, that's not too bad...
  3. Center back, some Chinese beef and green beans that I think is still good, but Theo insists is not; on top, potroast so old I refuse to look. I'm hoping Larry will take care of that for me. Maybe for Valentine's Day?
  4. Right, front, is a bottle of salad dressing whose almost-full twin is still in the fridge. This salad dressing is either the bottle that is a couple of years old that I meant to throw away when I replaced it with a newer bottle a couple of months ago; or, this bottle is that newer bottle, but it looks like the older bottle because someone around here opened yet another one and put it in the fridge.
  5. If you couldn't follow #4, that means you're normal.
  6. Right, back, is rice, green beans, and a quarter of a chopped onion which is just on the edge of going bad. Perhaps I should put it back in the refrigerator and take a picture of it next week, when there will be no doubt of its superannuated status.
Even though I have been running this feature for half a year already, the public shaming seems to have had no effect whatsoever on my food-storage habits. I am an irredeemable kitchen slob, it would appear. And you folks haven't even seen the contents of my downstairs fridge. Suffice it to say that just today I discovered 2 produce drawers full of apples that I stored in there 3 months ago. The fridge smells like an experiment in fermentation. Brewing (if that is the correct term) a batch of hard cider might just be the way to go here...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Reality Bites

I was feeling a bit down today. So I Twittered (or Tweeted) my news:

Ordered progressive lenses for my new glasses. Can a walker be far behind?

I'll admit, I was looking for a little sympathy from my middle-aged Twitter compatriots there. Some reassurance, maybe, that my body wasn't going to suddenly start deteriorating at warp speed now that I'm in my mid-40's. Is that so wrong? I didn't think so. But what do I get? This from Octamom:

It (wait for it...) DEPENDS...(wahahahahhaahhaa--I'm cracking myself up.....)

Sigh. Everyone's a comedian, it seems...


In related news, last night was another middle-aged first for me. I could put it off no longer; my self-respect (and my dress pants waistband) demanded that I swallow my pride and cast my illusions of a still-youthful figure aside. So to Bunko last night, I wore my first foundational undergarment (not counting my brassiere, the construction of which requires engineering expertise the equivalent of which built the Eiffel Tower).

Newbies, click on that brassiere link. It's very informative.

I want to make it clear that this piece of apparel I wore last night is not a girdle - I mean, a girdle is something our mothers wore, pre-Women's Lib and all that. I'm much too modern a woman to need a girdle. It just happens to be a pair of well-constructed, um, panties - yeah, that's it, panties - that "flattens tummy."

Most definitely not a girdle....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Blog Post Titles Are So Yesterday

I keep reading this article over and over, because I don't understand it. It seems to be saying people are attracted to the smell emanating from a french fry shop because the fries smell like cocoa and ironing boards (?!) and onions. Silly me - here I thought it was because it smells like french fries.

I can't help but think this is yet another instance of overeducation making people stupid.


I made a mistake yesterday and no one caught me. It occurred to me this morning that I have seen a movie more recently than 2 years ago - I took my daughter to see Juno last January. Of course, I ended up regretting it.


Can you imagine? Kindle 2 is out, and Amazon hasn't sent me one yet to review. Must be an oversight on their part...

Aaack - and now I have a disembodied hand floating on my post...


We have a neighbor who just moved in last summer (i.e., she doesn't know us that well yet). She has 2 adorable little girls (ages 4 and 2) who possess more dress-up clothes than you can imagine. The first time Rachel went to their house to play, she thought she was in heaven.

Anyway, this neighbor mentioned today that the girls had been sick with a stomach flu the past week. "We never had that before, " she said. "Has that ever happened to you?"

I was speechless. I mean, where to start? Should I tell her about the bunkbeds? How about the scrambled eggs at the science museum? Or maybe I should regale her with tales of that winter when the CDC was getting ready to slap quarantine signs on our front door?

I've had 6 kids over 17 years, and she asks, "Has that ever happened to you?" How has she managed to live in a vomit-free Shangri-la the past 4 years? For us, stomach flu has always been the norm, not the exception. I still remember our first time, me 8 months pregnant with our second many special memories of stripping beds in the middle of the night, piles of vomit-soaked laundry piled up in front of the washer, glasses of flat ginger ale all around...

A girl could get downright nostalgic.

"Has that ever happened to you?" You know, there's a reason our pantry is always stocked with saltines and pretzels. There's a reason I keep an empty dishpan at the bottom of the linen closet, strategically located close to the kids' bedrooms. Is my neighbor telling me that not all families operate this way? Is there, in fact, another way to live?

Why didn't somebody let me know?


Mrs G is a bit delayed with the launch of The Women's Colony; but never fear, it will happen. And it will be worth the wait.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Star Gazing

My friend and I abandoned our respective familial duties to see Last Chance Harvey this afternoon. It was tricky to coordinate our escapes, but well worth the effort. In my opinion, any movie that features both my secret boyfriend and Emma Thompson (an actress unafraid to look middle-aged on screen) simply cannot be missed.

Now, I don't get out to the movies much. I think I last went 2 years ago to see The Good Shepherd. Before that? 2004...Unbelievable, right? Anyway, my friend and I get to the box office window and the guy charges me $7.50 for my ticket.

"Aren't there matinee prices on Sunday?" I asked as I handed over my money.
"Those are the matinee prices," he told me.
"Don't mind her," my embarrassed friend interjected. "She's from Mars."
"Men are from Mars," said the ticket guy. "She must be from Venus."

Apparently, everyone gets to have fun at my expense.

Inside the theater, we detoured to the concession counter to torture my friend's hard-working teenage son. She insisted on asking him if there was any fat-free, low-salt popcorn available; and I railed (loudly) against the idea of paying 4 dollars for a tiny little bag of the stuff. We stopped just short of demanding to speak to his supervisor. I confess, it was fun to see him squirm. Mothers of teens can be vengeful like that.

The movie? Oh, yes - there were about 15 other people in the theater with us, all of them old. There should have been a shuffleboard game set up in the aisle to while away the time before the previews. The plot was thin, and a little sappy, but not too sappy. And, really, who cares about the plot? I got to spend over an hour watching Dustin Hoffmann gazing adoringly at Emma Thompson. Of course, I got my money's worth by pretending that he was looking at me.


Anyone else agog with anticipation? I know I am - because tomorrow Mrs G will unveil the all new and improved Derfwad Manor/Women's Colony. Mrs G, your fans await you!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Susie is a sweet, compliant 3-year-old. All day she amuses herself by coloring, or telling herself stories out loud, or dancing around the living room. She is the happy little caboose of our family, and we love her for it.

And then, there is the anti-Susie. Lately she's been appearing around 3 in the afternoon, out of the blue. The other day, for example, in the elevator at the doctor's office, when I pushed the button for the lobby. The button that Susie wanted to push...

I like to think the people waiting in the lobby were amused by the spectacle of me dragging a screaming 3-year-old by her legs out of the elevator. Anna had to sit on her in order for me to buckle her into the car. And Susie continued screaming for the half-hour it took us to get home.

Today, again. We had to drive Theo to his college class. I buckled Susie into her car seat and then put her hat on her head. This order of operation was incorrect. The hat, apparently, was supposed to go on her head first. But, of course! Another 30-minute cacophonous car ride ensued.

Why am I telling you this? I don't know. Susie is once more back to normal, humming and skipping and twirling as I type. There is no trace of the evil that lurks within. And I can only hope that the aberrant behavior she's been displaying is not merely a harbinger of her teen years.

But if it is, I think I'll send her to live with Anna.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Miscellaneous Doesn't Begin To Describe It

Would you believe? I worked last night and I didn't get a single chance to use my joke. How unfair is that?


20 people arriving in half an hour....maybe I should get ready? Clean up from lunch, at least?

Naaah. The blogosphere needs me.


Theo continues to know everything. He doesn't need our advice for college scholarship interviews, he'll "think of something." How reassuring. Doesn't he realize I plan to rent out his basement suite as soon as he heads off to school? Kids these days....selfish....


Brian has the worst case of clown mouth I have ever seen (for the non-parents among you, that's when a kid's face all around his lips gets red and chapped). I've been smearing it with Carmex 2-3 times a day, and he still looks like a leper. I have no idea what else to do, aside from waiting until spring for it to clear up. Or letting him join a circus...


Rachel can read. Well, let me correct that - she can't read an age-appropriate book when I ask her to, but she can stand behind me as I type at the computer and recite what I am writing. All of it. Which explains why I am finding it harder to find (a safe) time to blog these days.


Larry is leaving me on Saturday to spend the day with other Scouting dads. I think he's still miffed about the IKEA trip last weekend. But I'll show him - while he's gone I'll clean out his sock drawer and steal all the change.


Hmmm....only 15 minutes left until company arrives...I do like a challenge...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Hello? Where is everybody today? Has the world come to an end and nobody told me? Figures.

Or maybe Sitemeter is broken. Not that I check it. Much.

Susie and Rachel are fighting over a Garfield book. I hate Garfield. I've always hated him, but now I hate him even more.

Sue is being funny again. Make her stop. And don't give her ideas for a new tagline - she just wants attention.

I'm thinking in snippets today - can you tell? I think I've been on Twitter and Facebook too much.

Larry wrote me a resume. It makes me sound really smart and up-to-date. I'm a little peeved at him because he wouldn't list my blog on it. Something about being unprofessional - yeah, like being home with the kids for 17 years isn't?

My name is suburbancorrespondent and I have a blog. And I'm not ashamed of it, either. Well, with the exception of those fridge posts...

Monday, February 02, 2009

Husbandly Machinations And A Joke

Well, our weekend was torpedoed, as it were, by the belated realization that there was yet another lengthy financial aid form to fill out for Theo's college applications. This realization, as you can imagine, did not make Larry very happy. It also did not make him very happy that I stuck with my original plan of meeting a friend at IKEA on Sunday.

But he got even with me, oh yes he did. While I was out, he sneaked into the kitchen and threw out all the expired leftovers in my refrigerator without taking any pictures. The nerve! What does he expect me to do for a blog post this Wednesday? I had great plans. And he ruined them.

Revenge can be so ugly.

To top it all off, he doesn't even appreciate that he has a wife who can hang out all afternoon at IKEA and still spend less than 50 dollars. I've spoiled him, I know.


On the bright side, though, Larry's taken it upon himself to write me a resume. Talk about making bricks without straw, eh?


Thanks to Prairie Home Companion this weekend, I now have a great joke to tell to the many male customers who come to the register with magazines whose covers sport all-but-naked women in a variety of salacious poses. Ready?

Did you know that Playboy now has a magazine exclusively for married men?
[Here I imagine the customer would say, "Really?" Of course, he might not, but that won't stop me.]
Yes! Every single month, it has the exact same centerfold.

Ba-da bum.